I’ll try to follow three elections this evening – besides the Swedish national and local elections – there has been state elections in Berlin and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Luckily, the polling stations close at 6 pm in Germany and the exit polls are usually fairly reliable.
The two German elections have two things in common: The turn-out has fallen some 10 percentage points (roughly from 70 to 60%) and the CDU has failed to present a credible challenge to the Red-Reg governments in both states. In Berlin, the Greens were the winners if we count be the share of the vote, while the Liberal FDP and the Neo-nazi NDP made major advances in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
Another thing worth noting about Berlin is that the Linkspartei got whacked while a diverse selection of “other” parties received more than 12% of the vote without being represented in the state parliament.
Interesting question: Why do we see such dramatic drops in turn-out? One possible answer could be that dissatisfied voters didn’t see the CDU as an effective alternative in state politics, another that voters wouldn’t vote for the CDU because they were dissatisfied with the party’s performance in national politics. Finally, the abstentions could be seen as a manifestation of distrust in the political system as such. Closer inspection of the exit polls will tell us more during the evening.
ARD’s coverage of the state elections.